Part 21

The Guard – The Princess – The Royal Lie

Alleia, the youngest Princess, stepped outside the main hall once their dance was over, tugging the painful slippers from her feet as servants preceded by with the collection of exotic animals. The court was distracted by the elegant beautiful captive creatures and the spiced wine had gone straight to her head, so she ventured with bare toes to the main courtyard to catch some air, neglecting her slippers, her husband and the celebration.

Leaning against the cool stone wall she gazed up to the night sky, watching the twin moons circle in their eternal dance, the high towers surrounding the courtyard merely provided a narrow viewpoint of the ink black sky, causing Alleia to feel as much a captive as the zoo collection. Indeed, her circumstances, even as a Royal Princess was hardly ideal. She dug her toes into the sandy earth, watching the Castle Guards training under the watchful eye of their General Fendor.

There was no celebration for these hard working men, no feast, drinking, music or dancing. No time to rest from their route march, just back to rigorous combat training, even so late, the men were stripped to the waist in the cool night air, practicing hand to hand fighting in the dull light to hone their skills in all conditions. Alleia admired the strong men, so toned, so strong… So unlike her vile husband, a neighboring Lord, landowner and ally of her Fathers. The marriage was part of a territory trade, she had been sent away as a virgin bride with deeds and a pretty dress, her father, the King, never even bothered to show up for the wedding.

She swallowed hard against the angry lump in her throat, positively dreading returning to the party above, her Husband would be drunk by now and and and… Her eyes caught the image of a lone soldier, the last man standing in a tumbling brawl, he panted hard, spitting blood, he leaned to assist his opponent to his feet, body scarred, hair tied back. The Princess took a step forwards…

General Fendor dismissed his troops from their training, it was near midnight and even he needed some rest. Kane continued to surprise him, his progress was developing with such speed and agility since the youth had shocked everyone by dispatching of The Guardian in cold blood. There was a legend among soldiers, that a killer could gain their victims strength, that the act of slaughter empowered a warrior … An old wives tale, yet the General chose to keep an eye on young Kane and he was not the only one watching the soldier, Fendor noticed the Princess and as Kane walked by her to leave for his barracks… He paused, She paused…

And Fendor slipped into the shadows to watch what would happen next…

 

Anne Harrison 31.01.17

 

BLOOM

in darkness i swell – my promise of life – reaching through sod for light i crave – i  wash in crumbling compost  damp and clinging to my young frame – water slick thirst nourishing – sun drenched and free – i reach – i  stretch  – I grow – from darkness i bloom

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